Writers’ Blokke
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Writers’ Blokke

Have Compassion Please: What NOT To Say To Job Seekers*

… and help them along the way.

Photo by Hunters Race on Unsplash

I remember there is a saying “Everyone is fighting their own battle, so be kind” or, something along the line. Living (or merely surviving) in this challenging period, it’s good if we can breathe, sit back and adhere to this advice; thereafter be compassionate with others. It is time.

Being unemployed for almost 11 months, I know how it feels. Writing this, still from a wound and not from a scar (loving these words by Rachel Hollis) is risky; I am being open and vulnerable especially when the world is judging (recruiters, future employer, just to name a few). However, I decided to disregard that feeling and write. No matter what we do, people will judge anyway.

To date, there were countless rejections on my job-seeking journey. I believe I am not the only one; other fellow job seekers are in the same boat. At this juncture, we have been diligently trying, praying and surrendering our faith in God / Universe / Higher Power.

In my case, there were 3 promising scenarios but God knows best.

First, after 3 interviews, they decided not to hire due to market conditions affected by COVID-19. Second, I was supposed to sign an offer letter but on that special day it should happen, I received a call that very morning saying that it has to be put on hold. Third, I’ve attended an interview, the outcome looks promising but there was it. Nothing on paper to seal the deal.

Apart from the above, as I said, countless rejections were endured, either during the application process and after attending first or second interviews.

The above is just a nutshell of what we, the jobseekers are experiencing in riding this journey during this pandemic. For those who are walking together with me along this road would definitely understand what it means and how it feels. The struggle is real.

As a good person, when we see our friends and family struggling, we offer to help. Yes, we love them. We want to show them that we care, from the bottom of our heart. We want to ease the pain. That’s the least we can do. We say hi. We started talking. Little did we know, our words are not helping albeit our intention is pure.

So, what NOT to say?

  1. You need to think positive. Thinking positive is not the issue. He/she could, to the best of his/her ability trying to rewire the brain to see the good side of things. Believe me, we tried. Every day we wake up with good energy to greet the day and start searching for the job that one day could potentially be ours.
  2. Just remember when you think you have it bad, someone else has it worse. Oh, please. Do not insult our intelligence. We may be jobless but we still have our brains intact. Of course, we know this fact but it does not comfort us at all. Ideally speaking, people were encouraged not to compare life with others. It’s unhealthy. The same goes for hardship. It’s toxic to compare one person’s experience/calamity with others. People walk in their shoe; every human being has their battles to fight. We don’t know what other people are experiencing; so don’t try to compare and advise them to remember someone has it worse. It doesn’t help.

At the end of the day, I understand people just want to help, to be there, to support. Perhaps it is not what we say that matters. We say it best when we say nothing at all.

So what should we do?

Instead of speaking, we should listen. People may find comfort if we just listen, without judgement. So, the next time you want to help your friends and family struggling to find a job, have compassion, please.

Thank you.

  • Originally published in LinkedIn by the same author.



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Izwan Ishak

Izwan Ishak

| I write from the soul. Thriving towards personal development & positivity | #mentalhealthadvocate #mentalhealthawareness 📧 izwan1409@gmail.com